Thursday, April 24, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo: Day Two

Yahoo's Ari Balogh rolled out their new Search Monkey; a feature that enables 3rd parties an opportunity to upgrade their search results over those traditional organic results. The concept is simple but the idea that one of the premier general search engines are willing to allow web site owners the ability to upgrade search results that are displayed by Yahoo is truly revolutionary. It's no secret that with MSFT breathing down their necks Yahoo's Yang has to break the mold and try something new. Besides anything that could improve bail-rates from Yahoo's results would be a welcome improvement; something that only site owners could offer.

Will this Wiki-like approach to improving that which Yahoo serves up enable Yahoo to catch Google, probably not. But it will certainly improve some of the results and hence user experience. Bravo Yahoo; too bad you waited so long to offer this feature. I suppose necessity is still the mother of invention even in the Silicon Valley.

Mark Andreesen was interviewed by John Battelle and as usual proved to all why he shares the mantel in Silicon Valley lore with the likes of Steve Jobs, the Google Guys, David Packard, Larry Ellison and Gordon Moore as one of its true stars. Among the many things discussed was a stroll down the memory lane of the mid 90's when first his Mosaic browser opened the Internet to the public and then his Netscape Navigator to the masses. Additionally, he wouldn't take Battelle's bait (is MS "defanged") when queried on his feelings about MSFT and their incursion into Netscapes's space with IE but instead he took the high road and saluted Gates and gang for their efforts and in bringing a standard to the desk-top operating system that has enabled the development of all things Web 2.0. Prior to OS there were dozens of systems that ran PC's and developing products for those PC required multiple versions and lower productivity; something the cell phones business could learn from. Finally, he talked about his newest venture Ning; a social network platform for the masses. My guess is that like his Mosaic browser Ning will prove itself a winner especially given its unique viral format. Investors think so.

Presentation by executives from FaceBook and MySpace about marketing techniques and lesson's learned were informative (i.e popularity of the new 646 X 60 banner) and how paying attention to the four (4) pillars of an on-line ad programs 1) Ad Size, 2) Formatting, 3) placement and 4) ad network can dramatically impact your results. Hey, I'll always pay attention to someone who is speaking for a web site [ MySpace] that has 117 million UVs in March '08 and is adding [registering] over 200,000 new users each day!

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